Movies reviews with matching food – eat, watch, enjoy
Starring Bing Crosby
New York City in the swinging 40’s. Gangs roam the streets. War is in the air and a reformed man becomes a priest. His womanising days are well over. Now he uses his charm to transform a church in one of the poorest neigbourhoods in NYC!
Compared with the past few films, this one is a bit lighter. A bit. It has songs for crying out loud and Bing Crosby, you can’t get lighter than that. Oh, but then there’s the gangs and the dying senior priest to get the heart swelling and the tears welling. Sigh. Heart and humour and music, what could be better?
This is a classic tale of modern ideas overtaking traditional ones. A kinda out with the old in with the new. It is as painful as pulling off a bandaid and Father O’Malley (Crosby) decides to use the slowest and most painful way of ‘slowly, slowly’. No O just rip the darn thing off. Full of compassion, Father O’Malley respectfully and subtly decides to introduce the congregation to his modern ideas without treading on old Father Fitzgibbon’s (Barry Fitzgerald) toes. When Fitzy realises O’Malley has been sent to replace him, he withdraws from all and embraces the sadness monster. Big hug!!
Then the church goes up in flames and everyone’s bottom lip drags on the ground. Father O’Malley picks his up and decides to be a little pro-active, organising a musical fundraising event to rebuild the church! All is resolved between the ‘Fathers’ and hope is once more restored!!
This war time flick wears a grim smile the whole way through. There is light at the end of the tunnel, no matter how dark or full of despair. Bing is the King of musical lightness, a apt casting decision. This lightness may feel lacking in any believable heart but perhaps it is what the audience of the time needed; a moment to escape the realities of the ‘great’ war.
Going My Way Trivia:
Bing! And we’re done. Next time we are getting out our compasses for The Lost Weekend starring the dashing Ray Milland and Jane Wyman.